Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pheasant's Eye
Adonis aestivalis

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Adonis (ad-ON-iss) (Info)
Species: aestivalis (ee-STIV-ah-liss) (Info)

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By saya
Thumbnail #1 of Adonis aestivalis by saya

By Buttoneer
Thumbnail #2 of Adonis aestivalis by Buttoneer

By SW_gardener
Thumbnail #3 of Adonis aestivalis by SW_gardener

By SW_gardener
Thumbnail #4 of Adonis aestivalis by SW_gardener

By mgarr
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1 positive
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive EcoStewards On Nov 11, 2012, EcoStewards from City of Kawartha Lakes, ON (Zone 4b) wrote:

I purchased this plant as seeds from an online heritage seed catalogue called "The Cottage Gardener".

It was very easy to start by planting directly into the garden and spacing out the plants, once they were about 6 inches tall.

It has been an absolutely delightful addition to the border in front of my deck. The flowers look like miniature carmine red poppies with black centers and the foliage is soft and fern-like. It's foliage is nice and full, held up on strong stems, which fill in nicely between other border plants or perennials that are past their prime and are beginning to die back.

The plant is very hardy, having been transplanted into the border in mid July, when we had an extended period of drought in North Central Ontario. It's now the second week of November and the plants are still going strong, even after several very hard frosts.

The seed pods resemble little corn cobs with pointed kernals, which are just beginning to turn brown and allow themselves to be removed from the stem, by rolling the seed head between the thumb and fingers.

This new find will be a permanent addition to my garden.

Neutral frostweed On Nov 16, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Pheasant's Eye, Adonis aestivalis, is Naturalized in Texas and other States.

Neutral saya On Aug 16, 2004, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Maybe it was the long rainy spring, maybe I 've treated the seedlings not well, maybe I should have sown them in situ...but the flowers stayed very small...smaller as I've expected. Well I won't deadhead these...maybe if selfsowing they'll show a better performance next year.

In Netherlands we call it 'Kooltje Vuur'...means 'little glowing (char)coal' ..this fits its well. Though small..but not to overlook because of its burning red presance.

Neutral annramos On Feb 16, 2004, annramos wrote:

This plant is poisonous to horses. It also inhibits the growth of plants next to it, especially legumes. If you want the weeds next to it to grow poorly, this may not be a bad attribute.

Neutral mystic On Feb 22, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This annual has finely cut leaves from 1 to 2 inches long. Blooms in mid-summer with small cup-shaped,dark centered red flowers 1/2-1 inch wide.Needs fertile well drained soil in full sun. Can be used in wild gardens, slopes and mixed borders.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jacksonville, Florida
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas

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